It looks like everyone has a social media profile in today’s world; every person has an identity on some sort of social media. It is one of the best ways to stay linked and let other people know what is happening in your life. But in the recent times we have seen many such instances when someone’s personal information gets into the wrong hands and the social identity is compromised, and there’s little anyone can do about it.
Also, there have been numerous instances where people have been allured by fake profile users only to get disappointed later. There are various instances where fake profiles have rendered extreme emotional damage to people.
Though, many of us know that the internet is not something you can trust blindly and also that a certain portion of people on the internet aren’t the real people, especially on social networks like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, where at least 5-6% of all profiles are fake. By building fake profiles on social sites, these people fake their identities and trick people into believing that they are someone else altogether.
The advent of such intricate social hoax online was brought to notice in an appalling manner in a 2010 documentary called ‘Catfish,’ where a 28-year-old Nev Schulman falls in love with a stunning young woman’s Facebook profile, then her voice in the phone and later he found out both belonged to a middle-aged wife and mother.
Another famous incident is of an American football linebacker Manti Te’o of the National Football League (NFL). He has received eight national awards and is one of the most decorated college football players of all times. He said in the course of the 2012 season that Lennay Kekua, his girlfriend, had expired of Leukemia in September, and on the same day even Te’o’s grandmother had expired. Much later in January 2013, the sports blog Deadspin exposed that the mere existence and death of his girlfriend is a fake. An acquaintance of Te’o admitted to composing a hoax that enticed Te’o into an online relationship with a non-existent woman.
So, what do you do if you are being harassed by a fake profile, OR if you even may have found a fake profile of yourself?
The best thing to do is to contact the social media network first and foremost. A lot of “internet celebrities”, such as fashion bloggers and popular social media figures, have fake profiles made of their information all the time. They alert their followers to the fake profile, let them know what is the real profile, and contact support to have the false account closed.
To be safe, avoid putting up too much personal information online. The internet, as we know, is a vast world in itself, where information can be easily found and stored. Stay smart to stay safe!